Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


The Forestry Insanity …

*Pic: The way we were … Picture (in selective logging days of the 1950s) of a log truck bearing an enormous trunk … (Max Wells, Arthur River)

First published June 5

A decade ago, I prepared a report (*download below) which estimated the dollar value of support for Tasmanian forestry from 1997 to 2007 to be more than 600 million dollars.

A major contributor to this sum was the low return to Forestry Tasmania arising from low stumpage rates.

Not much has changed over the following decade. The drain on the public purse has continued.

Hundreds of millions of dollars more have gone down the gurgler, whether promoting uneconomic Managed Investment Schemes, propping up Forestry Tasmania, paying contractors to exit and then re-enter the industry, subsiding freight for what are euphemistically called ‘residues’, or flogging the dead horse that was Gunns’ pulp mill.

Sectors of the industry which were uneconomic then, are not viable now. They survive because wood supply is provided at uneconomic prices.

One thing has changed, however. To its credit, the Board of Forestry Tasmania has finally come clean. Its recent letter to the Minister for Resources spells out that is losing money, big time, on its wood supply contracts. Stumpage rates are half those that apply in Victoria.

Rather than stop to ask whether ongoing subsidies are a good way to implement regional development policy, Minister Guy Barnett proposes to bring forward access to Production Forest Land. It is promoted as a way of ending subsidies while securing wood supply for regional sawmillers.

Stumpage will be determined by the government, not FT, and to quote Minister Barnett, “with references to the circumstances of the forest industry”.

The circumstances of the regional forest industry are fairly clear. Its continued survival, after decades of subsidies, depend on wood supply at very low prices.

Unlike the explicit payments propping up Forestry Tasmania, Mr Barnett’s approach has the political advantage that the implicit subsidy won’t appear in the budget papers. But it is a subsidy nonetheless.

As a means of regional development policy, or as an instrument promoting structural change, the lessons of the past are clear.

Support for inefficient industry has not worked. It is unlikely to work in the future. It only prolongs the agony.

As Einstein said, insanity is defined as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.

A government with genuine interest in regional development would move on from supporting the old vested interests and investigate more forward-looking development policies.

The environment movement and many of the major industry players oppose Minister Barnett’s bill.

But is should be rejected on economic grounds alone.

It perpetuates the failed regional development policies of the past.

*Associate Professor Graeme Wells (UTAS) was formerly at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics at UTAS.

Graeme Wells’ collected work on Tasmanian Times is HERE

*Download Support for Tasmanian Forestry 1997-98 to 2007-08 …


• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: Might I recommend to Graeme Wells that he undertake a 10 year update of his 2007 report. I personally think it is vital that an ongoing record is kept and published of the monumental waste of public money by the forest industry in Tasmania. When the forest industry finally dies and history is written, these reports will be a significant chapter in human stupidity and corruption.

John Lawrence in Comments: Please George (#5) seize this opportunity to enlighten us all about Graeme Wells’ lack of understanding about cost accounting and the reading of balance sheets. I fear I might be similarly afflicted. Go for it George. Don’t just snipe. That’s too easy. Explain it all to us dummies …

Watch HERE: This documentary is now 8 years old and details an interesting time in forestry in Tasmania. Gunns Ltd and Forestry Tasmania were given the opportunity to have their views included in the film, but refused.



  1. TGC

    June 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Has Associate Professor Graeme Wells (UTAS) had opportunity to do a report to estimate the dollar value of support for the Australian car building industry over a period of some years?
    And there are many other ‘industries’ which may not come out ‘in profit’ if they were to be scrutinised as forestry has been- even the tourist industry.

  2. john Hayward

    June 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I had an email posted on this story earlier this morning expressing doubt that the huge and perennial losses suffered by FT could not plausibly be explained by mere negligence or stupidity. It then disappeared.

    This is part of Tasmania’s problem.

    John Hayward

  3. spikey

    June 3, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    but but but
    fertile ash beds, mixed forest, jobs jobs jobs, the economy, community consultation, and it’s all the bloody lying greens’ fault

    the illusion of world’s best conjob
    has shattered like glass

    what happens when you break illusions?

    aside from complicit spellcasters
    who would risk playing with such odious broken shards?

    these are rhetorical questions for contemplation, however i’m more than happy to engage ANY apologists on relevant issues*

    *Forestry, Economics, Conservation, Ecology, Deliberate deception of elected representatives and communities, Corruption of science, Generating hate against minority groups etc etc

  4. Gordon Bradbury

    June 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Well written Graeme. It is a grim tale of monumental stupidity and waste. Unfortunately our political system is unable to offer a way out of this fiasco, due I expect to the low level of education and basic economic understanding of our elected representatives.

    I wish someone would keep a tally of how much money has been thrown at the forest industry over the last 30 years. This tally needs to be published every year just to remind us all how much this nonsense is costing Tasmania.

    As a forester I find it all so frustrating.

    What a stupid career I chose.

  5. George Harris

    June 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Lindsay Tuffin does himself no credit for publishing such a stupid article, just as Associate Professor Graeme Wells does for writing it….

    this is actually hilarious… not only does Wells show himself to have little understanding of significant contributors to the current state of the timber industry, or even the industry itself, but he doesn’t seem to understand modern cost accounting or how to read balance sheets, which is actually something within what you would imagine his experience, skill set and capabilities would require.

  6. John Hawkins

    June 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    #5 Harris

    With your experience, skill set and obvious talents it behoves you to put the record straight.

    We require a point by point refutation of Professor Wells’ submission.

    I suggest that we have passed the era of controlled cheap shots by apologists for criminal vandalism within our State Forests but your case, if good enough, will help to restore your credibility – then we might just believe you.

  7. Simon Warriner

    June 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    re #2, I wrote something similar, but it has not appeared. Odd. …
    re #5, Perhaps if you performed that much needed rector-cranial inversion, George, you would understand that the full story is not revealed in any single set of books, but by looking at the cumulative results across the multiple “enterprises” that comprise this states economy.

  8. Clive Stott

    June 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Great photo.
    Great logs used in the bridge too.
    Imagine FT trying to build a bridge like this out of the matchsticks they mine now.

    Do we have a car building industry in this state?
    You picked a really bad one there #1.

  9. max

    June 3, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    The forestry industry in Tasmania is incomprehensible, an ongoing train wreck that has taken millions of needed dollars from the public purse. Why has it been fanatically supported by all sides of politics, both state and federal? Is it corruption, or plain stupidity? The abysmal failure of our politicians in coming to grips with this on going festering sore must be questioned.

  10. john Hayward

    June 3, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    The sheer quality of the logging industry’s defences at #1 & 5 alone should be enough to discredit their inane spin forever.

    We still need forensic explanation of why this economic and ecological haemmorhage continues year after year.

    John Hayward

  11. Gordon Bradbury

    June 3, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Given that George (#5) is a beneficiary of this Government largesse I hardly regard his opinion as unbiased.

    The plundering of our public native forests and the State Treasury looks set to continue for many years to come.

  12. Gordon Bradbury

    June 3, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    PS. Might I recommend to Graeme Wells that he undertake a 10 year update of his 2007 report. I personally think it is vital that an ongoing record is kept and published of the monumental waste of public money by the forest industry in Tasmania. When the forest industry finally dies and history is written, these reports will be a significant chapter in human stupidity and corruption.

  13. Peter Bright

    June 3, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Gordon Bradbury at #4 writes that this [i] .. “is a grim tale of monumental stupidity and waste. Unfortunately our political system is unable to offer a way out of this fiasco, due I expect to the low level of education and basic economic understanding of our elected representatives.”[/i]

    Gordon is right on target with this perceptive evaluation.

    It’s our fault. We elect our politicians from that minute percentage of the population which offers itself for these roles, often for devious purposes, whereas we should actually be electing only those citizens of experience and proven worth who are really capable of doing the job with absolute integrity.

    But how could we induce such folk to make themselves available?

  14. john lawrence

    June 3, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Please George (#5) seize this opportunity to enlighten us all about Graeme Wells’ lack of understanding about cost accounting and the reading of balance sheets.

    I fear I might be similarly afflicted.

    Go for it George. Don’t just snipe. That’s too easy. Explain it all to us dummies.

  15. TGC

    June 4, 2017 at 12:06 am

    #12 “When the forest industry finally dies…”
    Whilst it’s unlikely to happen in any time-scale those contributing to TT will experience-it may only happen if it ever becomes possible to find other products or ‘inventions’ that will satisfactorily replace trees across the massive range of uses to which trees are put.

  16. MJF

    June 4, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Temporary bridge i think Clive. How long do you reckon a mid span log for a pier sitting in the middle of the river will last ? The next flood, that’ll be it.
    Interesting cartage configuration, single drive truck, tandem jinker. Must have been all downhill.

  17. max

    June 4, 2017 at 4:07 am

    # 1 Trevor. No need to dirty the water Trevor. There is a vast difference when industries are leaving because of free trade and need to be subsidised because of government policies. FT is not one of them. When did the car industry or any other industry except FT scrap 90% of their product and pay millions of dollars to cart the scrap to a distant port. Can you point to an industry that creates toxic plumes of smoke to dispose of their waste and pollutes near by towns. FT unlike other industries is using a product that takes over 200 years to replace, but as they destroy the young stock almost at birth there can be no long time first class product produced. Hard wood fences are a thing of the past, the board walk in Launceston is now plastic.

  18. philll Parsons

    June 4, 2017 at 7:56 am

    The solution offered by Wells is the one we would expect a Sustainable Forest service to adopt. A higher and economic price ensures the wood is valued. Tas Oak is not sold cheaply in Europe so why do they get the larger part of the value?

  19. john Hayward

    June 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

    It’s occurred to me that the conduct of FT/LibLabs can be neatly explained by channelling from Donald Trump, or vice versa. Both exhibit a sort of extreme economic narcissism laced with stupidity, in which one’s own interests completely eclipse not only those of the rest of the greater society, but also one’s own interests in the middle to longer term.

    John Hayward

  20. Gordon Bradbury

    June 4, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I believe this news story has some relevance to Graeme’s observations and recordings:


    The Tasmanian Government cries poor when it comes to the GST carve up. But it then squanders $millions every week on the forest industry and the racing industry, etc. Like these are essential services???

    Sooner or later the pigeons of Tasmania’s economic mismanagement will come home to roost. Stand by for the wailing and gnashing of teeth (and the rent seekers).

  21. Pete Godfrey

    June 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    While you are doing a hatchet job on Graeme Wells, George please include all the information on the companies and individuals who received buyouts, buybacks etc.

    Don’t forget to include those who shut down mills, moved their equipment to other locations and claimed subsidies for that.

    Such as moving St Helens Sawmill to Bridgewater.

    Look forward to seeing the figures.

  22. TGC

    June 4, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    #17 “Hard wood fences are a thing of the past, the board walk in Launceston is now plastic.”
    True(ish) Anybody who builds a non-timber fence has a misplaced sense of economic values- even less of an understanding of the environmental cost of the alternative product they use.And the ‘plastic boardwalk’ has pure environmenntal credentials? As sure as…it’ll be torn up and replaced within a more shorter time frame than -‘it’s permanent’!
    But, back to the bit about subsidies caused ny one thing being less of a subsidy than those caused by ‘forestry’!
    Subsidies, tariffs, levies, duties- are all costs borne by the taxpayer- government support of anything is taxpayer support of anything -and because we are a federation subsidies in NSW//Victoria/South Australia/Queensland are contributed to by Tasmanian taxpayers.
    (And the car industry ‘scraps’ most of its product each time it ‘updates’- usually following more government assistance.
    Get real, sport- of all industries forestry and
    the growing and eventual broadscale use of trees is amongst the least harmful things we can be doing with/on planet earth.
    Even a re-growth forest is more attractive than an iron-ore pit the product of which eventually became your thing of beauty- a tin fence!- or a plastic footpath!

  23. Jack Lumber

    June 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    re 18 Agree 100%

  24. J B Nimble

    June 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Re # 15, about time you dragged yourself into the 21st century, other products have been invented to replace timber.
    I have visited many eco homes in South Aust & NSW that have not used one stick of timber, straw bale walls, galvanised steel roof trusses, double glazed PVC windows, bamboo flooring, no skirting boards or architraves used, nice clean lines.
    The kitchen, bathroom & laundry cabinets are all bamboo with resin tops.

    The thermal qualities of these homes are amazing,no heating or cooling required.

    You should get yourself out & about more Trevor and discover the amazing products available to replace timber.

    J B Nimble.

  25. TGC

    June 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    #18 “Tas Oak is not sold cheaply in Europe so why do they get the larger part of the value?”
    Much as many products from Tasmania attract much higher prices than here- take salmon for instance- (then again, given controversies, perhaps not!) so say ‘cheese’
    And we do sell-off our land pretty cheaply.

  26. TGC

    June 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    #24 “I have visited many eco homes in South Aust & NSW…” And as someone who does – one way or another-“get… out & about…”- my take on them is ‘very nice- but who’d want to live there?’
    “nice clean lines” I ask you?
    Like many other contributors to TT #24 is perhaps anti-forestry and sees the only good tree is one still growing.
    Most of that ‘alternative’ stuff #24 quotes is in it’s manufacture, its use or in its eventual
    discarding- damaging to the environment one way or another.
    I think that I shall never see – a ‘product’ lovely as a tree- no matter what use it is translated into- and the planet will survive whilst trees are valued across their spectrum of uses.

  27. J B Nimble

    June 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Re 26, No I am not against forestry as long as it is done sustainably, not in the way it happens here in Tassie, total bloody destruction, you only have to look at what FT are doing with the leatherwood forests, total stupidity, just ask the bee keepers what impact it’s having on the leatherwood honey industry, Tasmania is the only place on earth leatherwood grows, we have a world monopoly on leatherwood honey and FT are cutting them down and burning them. Only in clean, green Tassie.

    J B Nimble.

  28. max

    June 4, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    # 22. Trevor go for a drive to Woolmers Estate and have a look at the shearing shed. This shed represents what our timber industry produced before the ones you are trying to defend stuffed it all up. New hard wood fences will twist and shrink off the nails. The Launceston board walked had to be replaced, it was a dangerous disaster of rotten boards. Wooden fences are now treated pine from Chile, house frames and trusses are mainly imported pine from Chile. The regrowth that you find attractive will never make a fence, a house or attractive special timber furniture. I am not knocking timber, I love it but how can anyone in their right mind defend the travesty that the Liblabs have dragged our timber industry down to.

  29. Russell

    June 4, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Re #15
    1. Electronic news media can completely replace the newsprint version. It doesn’t need paper, nor does it waste tonnes more in the ones not sold, let alone the single-use ones that are sold.

    2. Instead of wasting a roll of dunny paper every 3 or 4 days, you can cut a face washer into quarters and use and re-use them for years.

    They are the two things trees are most wasted on.

    Any more simple solutions required Trevor?

    Re #16
    How long do FT’s ‘modern’ bridges last in floods? They’re (with our money) still replacing them after the last flood nearly a year ago.

  30. pat synge

    June 4, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    George has gone uncharacteristically silent!
    More bluster than substance.

  31. MjF

    June 4, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    As are many councils with their ratepayers money. Meander Valley on top of it ?

  32. TGC

    June 5, 2017 at 12:23 am

    #28 “Trevor go for a drive to Woolmers Estate and have a look at the shearing shed.”
    That sounds like a good idea- even though I had 10 years as a Guide at Woolmers and ‘restored’ many of the Cottages there.
    But…there’s always something new to be learned.

  33. Clive Stott

    June 5, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Just think TGC if the boardwalk had been redecked in Tasmanian timber then 90 other equivalent decks would have been trashed and burnt as waste.
    Honestly you can’t support that sort of business plan can you?

  34. mike seabrook

    June 5, 2017 at 5:49 am

    don’t forget all the magnificent mis money and other funds put up by mostly mainlanders and from overseas and gifted by the feds and spent by gunns and other foresters on employment ,goods and services in tasmania and high prices to purchase land from longstanding tasmanian owners

    which kept the tassie economy afloat when it was stuffed. this is a positive to tasmania. the mainlanders effectively paid up and lost the lot.

    since 1804, tassie plundered the british taxpayer for funds up till the 1850s whilst a convict colony , presumably to prevent french settlement ( and if settled by the french, the brits would have taken it over after napoleon was defeated at waterloo in 1815)

    and since 2000 the australian taxpayer has been thoroughly duped and plundered for funds.

    this is and will continue to be the tasmanian business as usual model.

  35. MJF

    June 5, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Why is it max that Tasmanian retailers find the need to import timber at all ?

    I buy frozen berries sometimes in Woolies, these are mostly from Chile

    What’s going on in Chile with their pine and food that makes it so appealing to Tasmanian shoppers ?

    Could it be price related ?

  36. Pete Godfrey

    June 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    #35 MJF you are right … it is price related.
    Back in the days before MIS took off, Frenchpine and Auspine used to produce pine products here.
    At one stage it was cheaper to import pine lining from Chile than it was to buy it from Scottsdale.
    How that could have been possible I have no idea, one would think that freight would have chewed up any advantage that cheap labour could have brought.
    But no, it was cheaper to get the wood from Chile.
    At the same time Tasmania was exporting whole Pine logs. Go figure?

  37. Robin Charles Halton

    June 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    #16 MJF, A unique historical photo I wonder if Mr Wells could offer more description of the whereabouts of the former bridge across the Arthur and possibly the ownership of the WC18-22 series White single axle prime mover carting a Eucalypt single rider butt log of around 30 tons.

    Dont be fooled by the capability of older styled truck, WC series Whites were manufactured by a US company in Cleveland Ohio for the Australian market between the immediate post war till about 1957 (WC18’s-WC22) were petrol engined side valve , 7 main bearings produced 150 HP from the White Super Power Engine of 362 cub inch displacement driving a 5 speed Fuller with a 3 speed auxiliary gear box with a Rockwell rear end.

    On all accounts the WC series Whites were the most popular heavy duty truck on the road at the time and were commonly seen on the road in Tasmania and Victoria especially for carting mill logs and long haul heavy transport.

    Because of the durable nature of their mechanicals many have survived and are widely sought after for restoration purposes, most were gray in colour, I have never seen a dual axle version although they do exist probably mainly in the US.

    I spotted two fully restored WC series Whites recently, both grey in colour, one at New Norfolk and another at Cygnet.

    From what I can recall Whites were extremely well engineered and a beautifully styled heavy duty truck of the era with reliable servicing and parts available by Donald Gorringe’s here in Hobart.

    In many cases Whites preceded the later popularity of Inters, Macks, Kenworths and Reos when dual axle rear drives become common to move increasing heavier legal loads using diesel powered prime movers.

  38. Chris

    June 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Whats the problem with you all?
    We all know that the likes of Barnacle, Harris Tweed, Roley Poley and Erica are the mostest honestest people in the State, they do not tell lies.
    The above picture of a White? truck is obviously photo shopped to convey the idea that logs for plywood are of this calibre, specifically grown to satisfy our Malaysian friends !
    If Barnicle were to hold one of his notable enquires then we would all be able to see that all timber in this state is sustainably grown over an 80 year rotation at an enormous profit to the state, along with only 5% used for woodchips, that along with stronger fibres from night en days enable us to use less date rolls in our bathrooms.
    The remainder of the timber, see videos of log truck loads (photoshopped again) displayed as saplings on their way to sawmills as a source of real timber.
    I think that Barnacle should should also come out and admit that the Forestry Section is well and is prospering,
    What other industry pays for our State roads and highways out of their budgets like Forestry does, but rather the negative individual critics maintain the costs are hidden in other state budgets and no its wonder Gutwhiner will not show us the trewth as he will be castrated for his actions when the opposite is the case.
    Know of one farmer looking forward to getting $6 a tonne from FT for his saw log timber and the waste can attract $20 by wood hookers, win win situation.
    Now the Barnacle in an enlightened way has scraped off the impediments and HOPES to allow clear felling on private land which can then be used for agriculture without the FT edict that the land has to remain untouched for 5 years.
    Win win again.

  39. George Harris

    June 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Well, I have sat back and watched for a couple of days, and sure enough, since my comment #5 there has been a steady stream of nonsense in comments in response.

    I am going to make a response, but I might ask Lindsay if he would publish it as an article with images… what do you reckon, Linz?

    Linz!x: Absolutely … go for it Georgie!x

  40. max

    June 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    # 35. MJF
    Please don’t play the fool, the plight of the Tasmanian forests deserves better. You and I both know imports are price related and with free trade the doors are wide open for other countries to exploit us, and they do.This doesn’t alter the fact that Gunns wood chipping stripped our forest for a short term gain. Ta Ann is doing the same to our future forests. Free trade is fully supported by the LibLab coalition, should we just go along with them, shut down the forest industry, let the forests recovered and wait for our governments to come to their senses.

  41. spikey

    June 5, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    #35 MjF (DFO) are you using the ‘economics defence’?

    I agree with max. ‘I am not knocking timber, I love it but how can anyone in their right mind defend the travesty that the Liblabs have dragged our timber industry down to.’

    Except I wouldn’t just blame the marionette liblabs, I’d blame the complicit dishonest charlatans of Forestry and their wormtongue mouthpieces.

    Funnily enough, those with sob stories about the ‘downturn’ in industry, usually blame the greens.

    They seem terribly misinformed to me.
    So does Guy.

    Who is deliberately misinforming them?
    Lying to them if you like.
    Why would they do that?

    thanks for your courteous and prompt response

  42. MJF

    June 5, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    correct max. It’s all about price and avAilability. Makes no difference what local stock is or isn’t available. Price dictates what the punters buy – in any commodity. You can prattle on about liblabs, smokey skies, streamside reserves and FT all day long, if matters not a fig when a cheap imported product is lining the shelves.

    I still fail to understand (like P Godfrey) how local radiata cannot be sawn, treated and retailed cheaper or at least as cheap as anything imported. Yes logs get shipped out in the round but there’s a hell of a lot more go into the Bell Bay sawmill and come out as sawn timber.

    Makes me conclude the Tasmanian market is just too puny to bother with.

    Perhaps another insightful comment max ?

  43. max

    June 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    # 42. MJF.
    From your reply I can only conclude that expecting Forestry Tasmania and the LibLabs to behave in a environmentally responsible and economically viable way is just idle prattle.

  44. MjF

    June 5, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Most interesting RCH. Is that the Arthur River ?

    I wonder how the GFC were faring ?

    My point was that the older single drive trucks usually pulled a single axle jinker which reflected a more realistic tare weight for the drive, traction and weight bearing of a single axle lorry
    Box was probably crash operated as well ?

  45. MjF

    June 5, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    # 43
    KO, we go with that summary.

    Seabrook @ #34 remains spot on re input of monies and flow on benefits. People have short memories.

  46. Claire Gilmour

    June 6, 2017 at 3:24 am

    # 39 George. Oooh I’m really lookin forward to the ‘real’ images ! Don’t worry Gnomeo (Georgie Harris) is in love … he apparently will do anything for that love … !?


    Even tho he hasn’t met the headmasters yet !!? The Chinese men who are taking the state and country for a song … Now Abetz and his party have told you what Gnomeo?


    You make trivets that break within two years George … so who are you in the bigger scheme of things Gnomeo? A gnomeo with a 30 ft political crystal up his …. nose!?

    The really scary thing is you keep pushing, through your FT/political links, for more slash and burn and you don’t even realise you are supporting China instead of your own country !

    I’m guessing yo a dumbed down political tool !?

  47. George Harris

    June 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Who is that toxic bitch?

  48. max

    June 6, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    # 47. George. Who is that toxic bitch? Obversely some one who is pissed off with the crass operations of Forestry Tasmania and the people who support the crassness.

  49. Geoffrey Swan

    June 6, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    #45 Dear Claire … congratulations; and well said Max at #48.

    Not only is your “friend” an “expert” on all things Forestry, he similarly claims knowledge of all things Aquaculture. I first learned of this gent at the public submissions for the Senate Inquiry into Fin Fish and you might enjoy, or not, his submission #75.


    Strange but when I google his “George Harris,
    President, Huon Resource Development Group inc.”… I don’t find anything…

  50. George Harris

    June 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    #49 didn’t search very well….

  51. spikey

    June 6, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    #50 a little less conversation*, a little more action round ere

    we all eagerly await your contribution ‘with pictures’ following your comment at #5

    * some may consider your potty mouthed bile conversation

    what is your skill set btw, town crier?

  52. john Hayward

    June 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    #22, TGC is a veritable museum of forestry spin.

    His latest exhibit, the claim that forestry is “amongst the least harmful things we can be doing with/on planet earth”, takes us back to an age when belief was unbounded by scientific reality.

    Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for up to 30% of the planet’s yearly carbon emission, with Tas accounting for a disproportionate share with its huge harvests and extremely low value-recovery figures , a share not significantly reduced by the plethora of short-lived plantations which double as biodiversity threats.

    On the positive side, some will doubtless admire TGC’s spunk in going where only the Light Brigade, and perhaps Woodchipper, have gone before.

    John Hayward

  53. Mark Poynter

    June 6, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    I would be pretty safe in assuming that few of those on this thread cheerleading for the Wells report have actually to taken the time to even read it.

    Anyway, I thought I’d take a look. Overall Wells has produced a short 9-pages that seems determined to paint any government assistance to industry as a ‘subsidy’ going right back to the initial plantation establishment of the 1930s and the far more comprehensive expansion of the 1960s.

    These were investments in ‘nation-building’ that governments have been making to encourage the development of virtually all industries probably since Federation. What sort of a country Australia would be if governments hadn’t encouraged and supported industries in this way?

    The plantation expansion of the 1960s followed the advice of the Australian Forestry Council which decreed that native forests alone would be incapable of meeting the nation’s future wood supply needs given expected population growth. Acting on this sort of national vision for the future is surely what we expect government’s to do. I’m not sure why Wells would even mention this if he didn’t think that it should have been done by individual companies – but they are understandably far more narrowly focussed and far less able to bring about the nation-wide mobilisation of action and resources that a Government can facilitate, particularly back then.

    The Wells report seems determined to paint the outcomes of such government investment as being beneficial only for one industry, when the reality is that all Australians benefit when we are able to supply our own resource needs and can gainfully employ people to make it happen.

    Perhaps it is true that Tasmanian industries have enjoyed greater Government assistance than their mainland counterparts, but it could surely be argued that Tasmania has traditionally needed more help given the comparative lack of other industry and employment options given the small size of the island and the nature of its resources.

    In my view Wells at times misrepresents government intervention in forestry as a ‘subsidy’ when in many instances it is more accurately characterised as a compensation for loss. For example, the Tasmanian RFA took 400,000 ha of native forest out of production, and compensated the industry for this loss by funding sawlog plantation establishment to create a future replacement resource.

    According to Wells, the RFA also providing additional funding for roading and research. Surely far more than the industry benefits from such investment given the improved public access this investment has no doubt provided. Whereas any investment in R & D is surely an investment in the future which benefits everyone – not just those in the forestry sector.

    Wells goes on to attack Management Investment Schemes. Fair enough, they were far from perfect, but they actually redistributed urban wealth into the rural landscape and helped to build both agricultural and forestry enterprises without the need for direct government funding, and on a scale that would have otherwise been impossible. The result is now booming new industries in almonds, olives, and even export woodchips in SW Victoria where 4.5 million tonnes was produced last year. If we had a pulpmill we could maximise the economic benefit of this, but that’s another story that is never going to be even countenanced on here.

    Much of the Wells discussion is focussed on the insufficient pricing of logs by Forestry Tasmania to recover the cost of production. I don’t really have any insights into the reality of that, but it is worth noting that because Australia does things so well in most industries by enacting high levels of environmental protection and worker OH and S, it surely puts itself at a competitive disadvantage compared to developing nations.

    This is certainly true of forestry where the levels of detailed planning and management of operations add far higher costs to production compared to SE Asian countries where corruption can be endemic. This, without even mentioning the huge disparity between the wages of workers between Australia and its competitors.

    Accordingly, it would be unsurprising if the sale of logs to Tasmanian industry has been mindful of the fact that it is preferable for the state to maintain the existence of an industry that uses a bountiful resource and employs workers in its harvesting, processing, and manufacture; rather than risk losing that industry and all its societal benefits by encouraging the import of cheaper wood from SE Asia.

    Finally, any evaluation of the benefits or otherwise of maintaing a Tasmanian timber industry, is surely incomplete unless it takes account of the socio-economic cost of paying for unemployment benefits and dealing with societal problems associated with significant numbers lacking gainful employment in the absence of that industry. I have never seen an analysis that considers this alternative scenario.

  54. John Maddock

    June 6, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I’m with Geoffrey – couldn’t find Huon Resource Development Group either, tho’ I tried. Google kept throwing up “Human” for “Huon”.

    George, please do something useful & provide a link.


  55. Gordon Bradbury

    June 6, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    “It {FT/STT] will be sustainable from July 1. That’s our plan,” he [Guy Barnett] said.

    Yet another political/forest industry lie.

    The decades come and go and the lying never stops.

    There is no way FT/Sustainable Subsidies Tasmania will ever be profitable/sustainable. It is a Leach Zombie Corp bleeding Tasmania dry.

    And another forestry election campaign coming up.

    I reckon its time for a “No Forestry” on ballot papers election campaign. Let Tasmania rise up and end this madness!

  56. TGC

    June 7, 2017 at 12:20 am

    #55 “I reckon it’s time for a “No Forestry” on ballot papers election campaign.” Does #55 mean – ‘Do not cut down another tree’- or does #55 mean –
    ‘No forestry unless it is under my direction’?

  57. TGC

    June 7, 2017 at 12:28 am

    #52 “Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for up to 30% of the planet’s yearly carbon emission, with Tas accounting for a disproportionate share with its huge harvests and extremely low value-recovery figures ”
    “Estimated” ? You need a new envelope to do the sums on the back of. If Tasmania never cut down another tree- nor allowed another motor vehicle onto the streets- or totally banned all domestic wood fires and never did another forestry burn or…oh…crikey the list can go on- it would make not none skerrick of difference to the planet’s atmosphere- and, because ‘the planet is doomed-‘ we’d not even be comfortable in the death throes.

  58. Geoffrey Swan

    June 7, 2017 at 1:10 am

    #50 and #54. When I added George Harris to the HRDG search in google it gave me a Facebook link and a photo of some 80 people in a shed – oldies and a large # of Asian folk (no disrespect).. https://www.facebook.com/Huon-Resource-Development-Group-374498005898367/ none of whom I recognise from the Valley.. who are they George.. are these people in the Huon Valley George.. I do not see you in this group pic… were you taking the photo”?

    I then looked at the TCA website – Timber Communities Australia because in a presentation to the Legislative Council Tasmania in 2013 you said “I declare my involvement in a range of organizations in a honorary capacity, as follows: President, Huon Resource Development Group, which is affiliated as a branch of Timber Communities Australia”

    On the TCA website they have a number of links to associations http://tca.org.au/links/.

    George.. can you please explain why the Huon Resources Development Group inc is not a link on the TCA website…

    I am just confused… really keen to know more about HRDG.. please give us a link to your website.. or more information please… what am I doing wrong with my Google searches…

  59. George Harris

    June 7, 2017 at 1:49 am

    How do you keep a dickhead in suspense…?

    I’ll tell you later…

    I will respond in my own time… In the meantime I’m enjoying this, watching all the nonsense flying past… (well, actually only checking occasionally….)

    By the way, what happened to Charlie?

    Oooops… my good friend Mark has stolen some of my thunder… (#53)

  60. Frank again

    June 7, 2017 at 2:37 am

    RE: Mark Poynter @ #53, who suggested: “I don’t really have any insights into the reality of that, but it is worth noting that because Australia does things so well in most industries by enacting high levels of environmental protection and worker OHandS, it surely puts itself at a competitive disadvantage compared to developing nations”

    What a statement, a true classic:
    “It is fairly clear, (lets call it obvious) from the above statement again how narrow, limited, short sighted this kind of thinking is.
    Most likely a reflection of what we potentially experienced say some 3 decades ago.

    The remaining “chickens” are here to roost and tell the whole sad story of what was, what went, what is left. How about a new vison plan for the future?

    Time will tell, I suppose.

  61. Robin Charles Halton

    June 7, 2017 at 2:38 am

    #53, Oh come on Mark, these comments of yours are further from the truth which is the fact we cannot grow sawlogs from HWP’s and the RFA horse trading of 400,000ha of NF into Reserves, to be made up with future HWP volumes for sawlog is absolute rubbish!

    FT is further behind the eight ball now that they have compromised for growing on and properly managing native forests otherwise the state would be in a far better position to have stuck with what FT were doing best, a CBS regime to promote a native forest regeneration future advancing into regrowth and harvest by prioritising a decent product as high grade sawn timber and not this shit regime that TA ANN had signed off with the TFA giving them the ultimate right to slaughter our YOUNGER- MID AGE WET FOREST REGROWTH for peeler logs.

    HWP’s in the case of Forico is big dollars as they supply an export chipwood market, of cause at the expense of Gunns Ltd who could not manage shit let alone expect a JV partner to fall in with them to develop a world class pulpmill when that industry was moving into the third world.

    Stupid Gunns, FT under Rolley and Gordon, while private investors were roped into MIS schemes, farmland placed into nitens, NF bush cleared to grown nitens, watersheds, steep ground and wildlife exterminated with chemical sprays and unnecessary land clearing, landscapes lost, money wasted, communities broken and suicides, the HWP regime has been a disaster for most.

    FT was fool to have ever embarked on the foolhardy HWP venture which has in fact cost them a significant loss of potential NF establishment.

    A sorry mess as nothing has changed the forest industry still wants its logs but has yet to show any interest on sustainable practices, all it has done to date is to promote exploitation.

    Industry should have been pulled into line at least 30 years ago when Gunns were allowed to go on a rampage and overcut our State Forests.

    I am speaking for Production native forests, if you bother to ask any FT officer in a weak moment they know that it is wrong to prematurely cut NF and also the doubts that exist with comparable sawn timber future coming from HWP’s!

    You know as well as I do FT grew HWP’s to bank roll Gunns with this world class Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, what a serious mistake that was.

  62. Pete Godfrey

    June 7, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    #53 Mark Poynter, if you think that Tasmania has a “bountiful resource” in our forests then you need to look at Tasmania in Google Earth.
    During the Gunns regime our forests were plundered for woodchips, the production forests were overcut to provide the shareholders with a bounty.
    Between 2001 and 2010 we were cutting our production forests on a 35 to 45 year rotation level. Tell me or Robin Halton how that is going to affect future sawlog supply.
    Now we are cutting young sawlogs to supply Ta Ann with peelers. Again no future sawlogs.
    If you don’t listen to me listen to Robin Halton.
    We need a new paradigm here in forestry.
    Actually on the matter of propping up the industry here are some pondering points.
    -The money spent on roading does not give much access to the public, if you tried to drive on many of our forest roads you will find massive locked boom gates.
    -paying compensation for forest locked up is a complete furphy. As the neither the suppliers or the users actually purchased the forests, why should compensation be paid for protecting some?
    – paying the workers in the forests to stay home would have been much cheaper, they could have been retrained to do more productive jobs.
    – Mr Wells never mentioned the ongoing subsidies that occur as a result of the industries use of public roads either. As each fully loaded truck does the equivalent damage to the roads of 50,000 cars ( Deutche Bank research), and overloaded trucks even more, the industry should have been paying much more in road taxes.
    You may not recall it but here in Tasmania, Gunns had to reluctantly agree to stop allowing overloaded log trucks from delivering logs to their chip mill. They actually named the date themselves when it had to stop.
    There is much more, but Robin has eloquently replied to many of your points.

  63. john Hayward

    June 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    #53, Mark Poynter, gives us a medley of classic Tas forestry furphy’s with his complaint about the environmental constraints and high wages which shackle Tas logging and necessitate the scandalous subsidies.

    Like Trumsky, Poynter is unshakeably convinced that his own economic wellbeing is the sole purpose of the world’s ecosystems and human civilisation, hang the costs to the rest of creation.

    John Hayward

  64. max

    June 7, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    # 61.Robin. Thanks for the honest insight into what was, what is and what should have been.
    59 George. What a totally inane response. But then when have you ever done otherwise?
    53 Mark. When it is cheaper to send people home, to sit on their arses and give them the dole then they are a liability. When George at 59 claims you as good friend and you stole his thunder, well?

  65. Geoffrey Swan

    June 7, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    #59 Dickhead and Bitch.. well done George. You are really showing us your true colours now.

    Again George, do tell us more about your incorporated business of which you appear to be the self proclaimed President.

    I have previously questioned another mysterious group, the Huon Citizens Council seeking more information but likewise failed.

    What is it about the Huon Valley and all these strange associations. And do tell… is the photo of the folk on your Facebook page actually a group of people from the Valley – or have you taken this from an overseas website as Mr Petar Johnson has done with his Huon Citizens Council website.

  66. Mark Poynter

    June 7, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    #60 Frank

    Yes, Australia and other developed countries do things far better and at a greater cost of production than other countries in virtually everything. We have outsourced so much manufacturing to Asian countries living in a perpetual state of smog precisely because they do not have the far higher and more costly air pollution standards that we have.

    It is right that our standards are high, but the cost of maintaining them surely helps to ensure that we produce things at a comparatively far higher cost than overseas competitors and that is why imported goods can outcompete most of our home manufactured products. This is beyond doubt.

    In relation to forests our standards are also far higher than SE Asian countries who import cheaper hardwood than we can produce locally. Nationally, only 5 – 8% of our forests are used for any commercial purpose. Do you really think, Indonesia uses as proportionally little of its forests?

    The rate of formal forest reservation in Tasmania is amongst the highest in the world. Do you really think Indonesia formally reserves more than 50% of its forests?

    Once forests are placed in national parks and reserves in Australia they are excluded from any commercial use. This has been the case for generations, but is not necessarily the case in SE Asia. A study in 2002 found that 57% of Indonesia’s industrial roundwood production (29 million tonnes) was sourced from illegal logging either in supposedly protected areas or without any permission. Things might have improved since then, but it would be a long bow to suggest it has been completely eradicated.

    Our planning and management of timber harvesting and roading operations is far more detailed and our reservations far more generous than developing countries. Do really think the substantial area that is illegally logged in SE Asia has any detailed operational planning?

    Sadly Frank, I think you are so fixated on Tasmania that who have lost all sense of perspective of what the real problems are.

  67. Mark Poynter

    June 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    #62 Peter Godfrey

    “…. if you think that Tasmania has a “bountiful resource” in our forests then you need to look at Tasmania in Google Earth ….”

    Fact: Tasmania has 6.4 hectares of forest cover per person. The world average is 0.7 ha per person. So on that basis Tasmania certainly has a bountiful resource, its just that most of it isn’t available for use anymore.

    Some of my comments below in relation to Robin Halton’s post apply equally to you, in that you are raising a whole slew of issues which I didn’t even mention.

    #61 Robin Halton

    I guess I half expected any attempt at a measured and reasoned consideration of what the term ‘industry subsidy’ might actually mean would be met by an ill-conceived rant that doesn’t really address any of what I said. Its just that I didn’t expect it from you.

    I get that you have had misgivings about FT and its decisions over a long period, but that isn’t what I was discussing. But then you go way further to make such a series of unsubstantiated claims to make me wonder if you were in the middle of a bender on the turps!

    I happen to agree with you that continuing to produce high quality timber from native forests is far preferable to transitioning over to the production of lesser quality plantation grown hardwood. But you are totally wrong to say that E. nitens sawlog plantations cannot produce sawn timber — they most certainly will given time.

    The E.nitens natural forest regrowth from the 1939 bushfires in central Victoria was producing good quality sawn hardwood at age 45 – 50. The problem lies with expectations that the Tasmanian plantations would produce high quality wood in 20 – 25 years, even though there was research at that time supporting such a view based on only limited trialling.

    I’m no longer sufficiently conversant with Tasmanian forestry to make comment about your claims of younger than ideal harvesting of NF regrowth, but then again I didn’t even mention it in my post yet you have attacked me as though I did.

    Your other claims about Gunns (couldn’t manage shit) and the supposed effects of MIS plantations (ie. ruined landscapes, exterminated wildlife etc) are just a tad over the top, and best left well alone.

    I fear you have too long on TT and have lost all sense of proportion. I would recommend a trip to parts of Indonesia, the Solomon Islands or PNG to see where the real environmental problems are.

  68. Claire Gilmour

    June 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    #47 Gnomeo, what happened to toxic midget like you use to call me? That was much cuter! I prefer – ferocious forest devil, indeed Queen of ! lol … spawned from the marriage of convenience between the government (political parties) and forest industry – a veritable environmental killing machine – which risks lives and destroys property!

    #48 Max, true! I make no apologies for being angry and embittered by nearly 2 decades of horrific, very real, actual (and documented) experiences on the front line of government sponsored environmental degradation. Although I do often write with a smile and a wink in whistling the true nature out of some … I was asked by a friend who I introduced to TT; who is this George guy?, why does he attack TT so and not back-up his claims? I said ok, I’ll whistle him out and you watch and learn! You never fail to disappoint me Gnomeo! 😉

    When has the forest industry/government ever taken into account the cost of their negative effects to down stream property owners and the community and environment at large? Never! Add that into the cost/benefit analysis and the government, forestry, and their sponsors/political donators potentially owe the state billions!

    Instead they essentially bribe their workers/industry players with subsidies and payouts … I have a friend in the industry who has been paid out 4 times! Albeit quite small amounts especially in comparison to (another) forest industry business who I believe got paid out big time twice…

    … following the money …



  69. Frank again

    June 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    In response to #66 Mark Poynter’s boring confusion.

    Seriously, there is no point in wasting our time with more denial.
    May time be the judge –
    In memory of the good friends of Tasmania:

    The alternative approach:

    Re “fixated on Tasmania”??
    What about VIC, WA, NSW, QLD?
    Forest Management jobs?
    All going well as well?

  70. Malcolm

    June 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    When Forestry Tasmania released its 2014 Annual Report it failed to include the Wood Volume and Value Summary which had been included in its previous Reports.

    I therefore applied for the disclosure of the information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and Forestry Tasmania released the information to me on 14 November 2014 saying:

    “Forestry Tasmania is happy to make this information available and I am therefore providing this information under ‘active disclosure’. Please find attached the 2013/2014 wood volume and value summary as requested.

    This information will also be uploaded to our website as a supplement to table 3.1 of Appendix 2 of our Stewardship Report. This information will be included in future annual reports.”

    The summary appears to have since disappeared from Forestry Tasmania’s website but I have included a link here to an archived copy.

    The summary shows that Forestry Tasmania achieved a rate of only $62/m3 from “value adding” Ta Ann Tasmania for high grade domestic peeler billets which represents an uplift of only $14/m3 over native forest pulpwood and $2/m3 over hardwood plantation pulpwood.

    It also shows that special species timbers achieved a rate of only $132/m3 which is little more than Tasmanian consumers pay for firewood and pales into comparison with the prices achieved by tender:


    It is little wonder that Forestry Tasmania would want to throw a veil of secrecy over such generous locked-in mates’ rates which are largely responsible for its financial woes.

    When Forestry Tasmania subsequently released its 2015 Annual Report it again failed to include the Wood Volume and Value Summary despite its earlier promise to do so.

    I therefore applied for its disclosure under the RTI Act but Forestry Tasmania refused to release the information claiming that it was exempt on the basis that:

    “Release of information about business affairs and specific commercial arrangements may expose both Forestry Tasmania and its customers to commercial disadvantage.”

    At the same time I also applied for the disclosure of the independent valuers report which had been used to increase the value of biological assets in the balance sheet from $146.6 million to $209.3 million as noted on page 69 of the Annual Report 2014/15. This increase in value generated an unlikely paper profit of $31.7 million in Forestry Tasmania’s overall accounts.

    Forestry Tasmania refused to release any of the report claiming that it was exempt on the basis that:

    “release of the report would compromise the trade secrets of the consultant”

    I therefore lodged a request with the office of the Tasmanian Ombudsman for an external review of both these decisions, on 7 January and 11 February 2016 respectively.

    After a lengthy wait I have now received a determination from the Ombudsman dated 10 May 2017 concluding that:

    “I am satisfied the entirety of the wood volume and MDLV summary is exempt under s37(1)(a).”

    “With the exception of the cover page, Executive Summary, and the chapters titled Introduction, Market Description, and The State of Tasmania, that the Forestry Tasmania 2015 Appraisal Report is exempt under s37(1)(b).”

  71. Malcolm

    June 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Continued from above

    As none of the preceding information appears to be on the public record I have uploaded the files to a file sharing service where they can be freely downloaded by clicking on the following:

    Ombudsman Determination

    Independent Valuers Report

  72. John Maddock

    June 7, 2017 at 10:07 pm

  73. Pete Godfrey

    June 7, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    #74 thanks for the update John. When the head of Auspine made the unfortunate statement that “If we had guaranteed wood supply in the softwood industry we could create far more jobs than a pulp mill could” he signed the death note of his company.
    Very soon after he said that, FT would no longer sign a deal to give Auspine wood supply.
    Then John Gay on hearing of Auspine head’s statement said that was a very unfortunate thing for him to say.
    After not being able to get wood, the company faltered in Tasmania, Gunns bought the company for a song, then wood from the West Coast was supplied via massive freight subsidies to keep the new Gunns mill going.
    It appears that business people have to be very careful in Tasmania. And they need to make the right connections.

  74. Colin Gumley

    June 8, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Couldn’t believe the peurile, crass and obnoxious observations of little Georgie’s personal attack upon Claire , hiz relevations / observations are of no significance to anybody but himself !!
    Claire was quite right in actually getting him to show how he operates / denigrates people for his own small minded agendas!!!

  75. spikey

    June 8, 2017 at 2:40 am

    I’m really starting to thing Georges article… to be published on the good TT will never come.

    How do you make a dickhead wait?

    Tell them you’re going to produce an article for peer review then don’t produce it…

    because you consistently talk total and utter bollocks, selectively, in the type of situations where you can avoid being questioned by anyone who isn’t entranced.


    Still up for that public debate on forestry issues we had planned?

    You can have as many people on your team as you want… if anyone wants you on their team

  76. R G Harris

    June 8, 2017 at 3:31 am

    Ha ha…! I’m enjoying this… still pondering my response, or even whether to respond, or not…

    Re#58, sorry, Geoffrey Swan, but you are still not doing a decent search…

    OK, I’ll give you a bit of history… The HRDG was formed around 2000, and the impetus for some local people was to support the passage of the Southwood development proposal through the Huon Valley Council. It proved necessary, as it was eventually passed on a 5/4 vote. Soon after, it affiliated with TCA, a national community-based forestry support organisation as the Huon Valley branch, or Huon region branch. It covered everything south of Hobart, except for Bruny Island, which had its own branch. There were 15 branches around the state. The shit-storm known as the TFA was so corrupt and dishonest, and it was the catalyst for the demise of TCA nationally. It crashed the organisation. I could tell you more about that if you are interested, but the national CEO, Canberra-based Jim Adams was firmly in the pocket of Gunns, made possible by a membership arrangement. He was the only TCA negotiator in the room for TCA during the TFA negotiations, but grass roots members smelt a rat, and were unhappy. When the TFA agreement was circulated, branch members could not support it. Jim Adams could only say that he highly recommended that branch members should support it, but in a statewide vote, they ultimately overwhelmingly rejected it. So much for all the signatories being required to sign it!!! I understand there was one other industry group that would not sign it, but somehow the pile of shit was rushed through parliament within two days…

    As I said, it crashed the organisation. It has since gone through a restructure, and a re-birth, but few if any Tasmanian members have joined the new organisation. The HRDG has sought and gained registration under the Tasmanian Act as an Incorporated Association in its own right, and is doing very nicely, thank you very much. We have made many submissions to state and federal inquiries, and on various matters, such as state legislation, the renewal of the RFA, on other resource-based issues such as aquaculture, mining, agriculture, as well as forestry and local government issues. We are not politically aligned, and are on good terms with both major parties, as well as all the participants among the resource-based industries and commercial businesses. Have a nice day….

  77. Robin Charles Halton

    June 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    #67 Mark, At least you have recognised the fact that continuation of NF would have been better for the forest industry than the ridiculously disasterous and expensive conversion to HWP.

    Most surprisingly expansion og SWP hardly rated a mention during the HWP obsession.
    SWP is always in demand for timber but I think the FT resource was sold off the a NZ coy some years ago and should be performing well!

    I agree that some nitens will eventually make it to the Bell Bay sawmill but the Pseudo political/forest resource deception of short term sawlogs and massive establishment costs does still not justify an investment of fast growing mainland species for pulp mill feed stock!

    As a consulting forester you would have to be aware of the case history of Ta Ann’s exclusive use of smaller sized regrowth for peelers at the expense of growing on sawlogs!

    Its common knowledge, ask any FT or ex FT employee over a quiet beer just make sure a dedicated IFA member is not present and you will hear about the messed up politics that Evan Rolley of Ta Ann and Vica Bayley of Tas Wilderness Society engaged in with the horse trading deal where FT lost 356,000ha of State Forest into so called future Forest Production Reserves.

    Anyway there are particular aspects of the disengaged forest management that FT now faces as Forest Minister Barnett makes up some concocted arrangement for reviving the forest industry, renaming FT as STT with no more subsidies, however their budget does contain $12M to cover FT’s community obligations such as tourist roads!

    Its remains unclear what the early entry within the 6 year lock up actually means, access to special timbers, impending shortage of suitable resource for sawlogs or restoration of existing roading network to comply with FPC standards could well be some of the reasons!

    My warning signal for the areas locked up for FFP’s is the unclear fire management issues now that the area is declared as Crown Land as FT with all of their valuable experience would not have the priority decision making if a major wildfire threatened the timber resource.

    I invite your professional appraisal if you are willing to engage in further discussion.

  78. Factfinder

    June 8, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Highway delays after truck crash

    A log truck crashed on the Esk Highway near Avoca on Friday morning.

    Tasmania Police has advised that a log truck has crashed, littering logs across the highway, near Avoca.

  79. Robin Charles Halton

    June 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    #78 Thats it George, politics and not practical measures took over the entire horse trading deal known as the Tasmanian Forest Agreement legislation 2013 which favored big payouts and swindle deals for wood supply, do we know it!

    Forest Minister Bartlett battles to explain what is the plan for realistic forest management as well as dealing with the head scratching Upper House.

    There appears to be lack of clarity of the workings of the future of FT and its operational structure, cant sack more staff with CBS experience can they!

    Personally I dont like your chances of opening the public forests back to where it should be at this point in time.

    Shame really as chances are high for currently excluding FT management altogether.

    Wildfire infernos could claim much of the valuable future production resource while management remains in a state of political limbo.

    I notice things are moving on Macquarie Wharf with even length export logs tagged and stockpiled are these straight eucalypt plantation poles from Crown and private land destined for sawing or peeling offshore judging by the quality although I was peering at them from a distance with my failing eyesight they appear to be good logs without apparent visual faults.

    Cheers for now George from RCH

  80. spikey

    June 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Hey Halton

    Remember when you suggested it wouldn’t be safe for me to join you in the Southern Forests?

    You insinuated I may have upset a Southern forester, and his possibly imaginary friends.

    You weren’t referring to George Harriss by any chance were you?

    Cheers for now RCH from spikey

  81. Robin Charles Halton

    June 10, 2017 at 12:58 am

    #82 For you Spikey there would be an official requirement to provide your full details, name address, case history- protest marches ect, work history if any and of cause an all States and Federal police check.

    The special committee which includes including me will assess your request but it is likely to be knocked back based on your TT anti forestry stance.

  82. Frank again

    June 10, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Let’s go right to the commentator #1 of this serious article. He mentioned manufacturing.

    Yes, it is true, I moved here to Tasmania about 30 years now, it was by choice, the reason was that we as a family looked for the place with the best potential(in a holistic sense) to be for this and generations to come.
    This was well before the 1997 RFA and the 1998 (so called) Forestry Growth Plan and the MIS taxation stuff up, before the two peeler plants were established.

    Talk about manufacturing, talk about value adding to our resources, the people, the community, the forest, the rivers and farms and towns and the sea…

    I feel that the time is right now that I should provide something seriously to consider on this island and the big land to our North:

    Why Germany Still Has So Many Middle-Class Manufacturing Jobs

    May 04, 2017


    Only about 1.1% of the world population is German.
    However, 48% of the mid-sized world market leaders come from Germany.
    These firms, which I call “Hidden Champions,” are part of what makes German economic growth more inclusive: by my calculations, they have created 1.5 million new jobs; have grown by 10% per year on average; and register five times as many patents per employee as large corporations.
    And they are resilient: my estimate is that in the last 25 years no more than 10% of them disappeared or were taken over, a distinctly lower percentage than for large corporations. Nearly all of them survived the great recession of 2008-2009.

    Moreover, Hidden Champions have also contributed to the sustainment of the German manufacturing base, and it is in large part thanks to them that nearly a quarter of the German gross domestic product continues to come from manufacturing. The percentage in most other highly industrialized countries such as the U.S. , the UK , or France is only about half of this.
    The effect on employment is enormous. Manufacturing creates jobs at home and at the time same allows companies, through exports, to participate in the growth of emerging countries.

    Given this success, it’s not surprising that many non-German policymakers and economists have looked to the Hidden Champions, or more broadly, the Mittelstand, to try and chart a path to more inclusive growth in their own countries.
    But how replicable is their success?
    While other countries could try to emulate aspects of what makes the Hidden Champions so successful, the reasons for their success are the result of a complex network of factors, many of them historical.

    A Hidden Champion is defined by three criteria: 1) a company has to be among the top three in the world in its industry, and first on its continent;
    2) its revenue must be below €5 billion; and
    3) it should be little known to the general public.
    Germany seems exceptionally good at creating these companies; I have identified 2,734 Hidden Champions worldwide and no less than 1,307 of them are based in Germany.
    You might argue that my research is deeper in Germany than in other countries, and most likely I wouldn’t be able to prove you wrong.
    But researchers in other countries have also examined this phenomenon and found far fewer Hidden Champions in their countries.
    A colleague who looked for Hidden Champions in Japan for years identified only 220 companies, a researcher in France has come up with only 100.

    With the exception of Switzerland and Austria, the per capita number of Hidden Champions is nowhere near as high as it is in Germany.

    This article was published in HBR. Continue reading the full article here: https://hbr.org/2017/05/why-germany-still-has-so-many-middle-class-manufacturing-jobs

    Just think of it and also about what the man from Ulm Germany, Albert Einstein suggested.

  83. William Boeder

    June 10, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Mark Poynter, there a number of very good reasons that you should butt out of Tasmania’s Ta Ann log-supply, as you are already aware being little other than the dubious Ta Ann and their grasping demand for a pitiable-low-proportionate-rate-of-payment-free-for-all huge volume of native timber logs, bear in mind these lower than shark-shit pricings or stumpage rates were back in late 2005 had all been deceptively constructed and then locked away in a “Commercial in Confidence” bunker, that even such as you (a 40 year long-term wood-chopper who writes opinion pieces and posts same online, which in my estimation, are intended to delude the Australian public, which you claim is are about the preservation of Australia’s forests) please do not forget that you are only a very small one-axe wielding chopper that is possibly still engaged in this great Australian exploited logging caper.

    I note you have a published a large number of your very own inaccurate opinions..
    See the link below.

    When one has a look on Google Earth to see what Vicforests and persons of your ilk have since engaged in to heavily reduce the former massive volume of Victoria’s Highland Forests, then one has to doubt your claims.

    In those opinion pieces you claim you are all about forestry preservation, now go and wash your mouth out with soap and water if you please, your chin is stained and still dripping with some dark shiny discharged fluids, possibly drinking-tea stains, but then who really knows what goes on in those former expansive volumes of Ancient trees once abundant across the Victorian Ranges.

    Wood-choppers chop down trees, or so they used to be, but nowadays all cutting is being conducted using a huge number of powerful chainsaws and other machinery devices, these tools or machinery are well capable of felling the bigger and older trees, which are all the better sought and are to the laughing satisfaction of Victoria’s wood-choppers, to have felled a 200 or more years old forest giant knowing that the greater bulk of this same will then end up as bastard-wood-chips. Who really cares you say?

    Thank you Mark, please tell me if the soap and water was effective in removing those accumulated darkish brown tea stains.
    Many of us in Tasmania prefer not to read your clouded comments in fear of being misinformed.

  84. MJF

    June 10, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Very ungentlemanly of you Boeder and not one of your more objective pieces. I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate Poynters contributions (as rare as they are now) and I can only hope he will not be swayed one iota by your uncalled for vitriol.

    Are clearer case of bullying I’ve never read. Poor form in my view.

  85. spikey

    June 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm


    ah the bully defence, nice one fitch been waiting for that to be pulled out, it usually is the last defence of those with nothing left.

    unless it was a variation of the ‘accuse them before they accuse us’ defence, in light of such delightful behaviour shown by a variety of shills

    including halton threatening my safety
    george being the vilest vitriol in the state
    and you following up this allegation of clear cut bullying, by calling william willy.

    One does have to remember that your views include worlds best practice, fertile ash beds and mixed forest … perhaps not the best person to be making clear calls on bullying.

    or anything for that matter

  86. MjF

    June 10, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Did you have something to say in that lot spike ? Probably just me being optimistic.

  87. spikey

    June 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    #88 I was obviously being optimistic regarding your comprehension skills

    i’ll use smaller words and pictures next time

  88. Robin Charles Halton

    June 12, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    #85 William Boeder, please remember that when the opportunity arises I appreciate open discussion with persons such as Mark Poynter, George Harris and MJF who are well aligned on current forestry matters.

    I questioned Mark’s knowledge about Ta Ann #69, its entirely up to him as to whether he wishs to engage in further discussion with me for all to read!
    As we rarely hear from him these days but when we do we should be grateful as I find his knowledge (updates) of the forest industry very useful.

    Otherwise there is too much playing silly buggers with each other and little real sharing of knowledge by certain individuals who are either obviously against everything forestry or share views of alternative forestry of which most ideas unfortunately fall outside commercial application.

  89. spikey

    June 12, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    #90 silly bugger halton

    thank you for sharing all your knowledge

    You’ll be so kind as to tell me which southern forester i upset, that would make you doubt my safe return from the southern forests

    for the record, just in case anyone gets the wrong idea through repetitive unsubtle attempts to misrepresent certain individuals

    -nobody is obviously against everything forestry

    -current practices are rankly uneconomic

    -any idea would be better than the current pile of shit

    worlds best malpractice
    and its polishers
    are going to the cleaners

  90. max

    June 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    # 90 Robin. It must be great to have at least three people who still refuse to open their eyes to the disaster they helped create. Nobody wants to be the only one out of step.

  91. Factfinder

    June 13, 2017 at 5:18 am

    It is about time for …
    “All My Loving” (Live At The Festival Hall in Melbourne) – The Beatles

    Talk about record keeping of recordings – almost to the day 53 years ago right here in Australia:

    Live At The Festival Hall in Melbourne – 17/6/64.-
    After almost two weeks apart from the group due to his tonsillitis and pharyngitis, Ringo Starr finally rejoined The Beatles in Melbourne, Australia.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMYfVuneBPU

  92. Factfinder

    June 13, 2017 at 5:30 am

    It is about time to call for: “Help”

    or should it be more like call for:

    “Don’t Let Me Down”

    It is all your choice.

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